Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

a Chara ter of Piety and unshaken Virtue, was what he wanted. And such an one in the Year 1688, he thought he had found and had actually agreed with him about it, being not a little rejoic'd with the hopes of being soon treed from noise, and hurry, and world. 'ly Business; and having nothing to do, but take care of his own Soul, and do good to the Souls of Others. But the News of the late Revo. lution chang’d that Gentleman's Thoughts and broke Mr. Bonnell's Measures

His desires of entring into the Ministry, An Enemy to were of a very early Date; for I find that se. Soliciting for veral Attempts were made by his Friends, du- Preferment, ring his Residence in England, to procure him some settlement in the Church there; some of which might have succeeded, had he seconded his Friends Zeal. by any Endeavours of his own: But that he was so far from doing, that he reckon'd it a great unhappiness to the Church, that Interest and Application had any share in the disposal of Spiritual Things. And when his Friend, Mr. Freeman, out of a sense of Mr. Bonnel's great Merit, and the Services he had done him, design’d to have pura chas'd the Advowson of a Benefice, that he might present Mr. Bonnell to it; he himself was the only person that oppos'd it, and so disappointed the kind Intentions of his Friend.

And 'tis probable that some Endeavours of his Friends for his Advantage, occasion'd the following Meditation, Written in the Year 1 680, wherein we will see what were his sentiments of foliciting for Employments in the Church;

and

[ocr errors]

and what Motives he proposes to himself, why he hou'd in all those Affairs, chearfully submit to the Will of God, and acquiesce in his Wisdom.

* I have often thought it (Says be) a great misfortune of some Men, whose condition • engages them in foliciting for Preferment ' and Places, which they often miss; and an

unhappy effect of some Employments, particularly in Divinity. And I can't but pity fuch Men whose Employments almost necessarily engage them in such conflicts, as feem very uneasy to Fleh and Blood,and very apt to fhock a Christian Temper; For to ' what is one carried more violently, than to

grudge and hate a Rival or Competitor ? To speak Evil of him when occasion is offerid, • and envy him if he succeeds? And what Jea' lousies, what Animofities, what Heart-Burn' ings, are commonly the effect of such De• bates ; are naturally apt (without much ' struggling with ones self) to be produced

by them? Yet this, O my Soul, will be I made easy to Thee, if Thou dost all with • relation to God. If Thou countest it Thy • only Business in this World, to serve God ' and considereft, that no service can be plea

fing to him, that is not submissive; For if I serve God but as I will my self, I can't suppose it will be acceptable to him. Where'fore I will defire no Place, Preferment, nor • Employment to please my self (especially ' in the Church, but indeed no where else) but to serve God. If therefore I fail of any

[ocr errors]

thing of this nature, for me to be dissatisfied,

or envious, or angry, or the like, is as if I • Mou'd proffer my service to a Master, with

great professions of Humility and Respect, 'to do such a piece of work, which he thinks 6 fit to set another Servant about, and I im

mediately fly out into the most unmannerly,

and undutiful Expressions, both against one , and the other. I can't say that God wholly casts me out of his Service, for where ever I am in this World, I am in it: all I wait for, is, a change of Duties; and if God thinks not fit to employ me in that way, if - indeed I principally desire to serve him, as « I profess, i ought to be far from being dirpleas’d.

Fancy, O my Soul, that thou hearest thy God thus speaking to thee: My Son, 'tis but a little time you will stay in this World, no matter how you are Employ'd, so you do it faithfully and well: The greater the Charge is, the greater Duty, and the greater ' Account will be expected : Since by all your

Labour, you strive only to please me, you will do that more, by labouring according to my Will, where I set you, than where you seek to place your self. It will not be long before I shall take you to my self; in

the mean time, the highest thing you can do ' to 'procure my Favour, is to do your Duty ' where my Providence shall place you. And . if other things fail which you desire, oraim

at, count that I think not fit to remove you, and let it satisfy you because it pleaseth me.

D

« Ah

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

' Ah Lord! perfect this Important Lesson in

my Heart, which I am beginning to learn, and Thou to Teach me, and change me

more and more by the Power of thy Grace, utill I at last be transform'd into the heaven• ly likeness of Thy Dear Son, Amen.

The following Meditation written when bis Thoughts were more particularly fix'd upon the Ministry, shews what were his sentiments of that sacred Calling, and how necessary he Judg’d a sincere Intention to promote Gods Glory and the good of Souls, to render us qualified for it, and useful in it. Here we may see what Awful Thoughts that good Man had of that Great and Difficult Work, taking Care of the Souls of Men, and what a constant Eye all' who Design to be, or are engag’d in that service, ought to have to God in the Discharge of it, and how Watchful they should be against the Assaults of worldly Interest and Vanity.

' If we Design, says he, any work for the good of Souls, we must take care that it be undertaken by Gods permission and encouragement; for we are not always Competent Judges of what is proper to this End, in particular Cases: Many things may seem to our shallow Reafons to have a plausible tendency towards it, which God may not Judge fitting: The Temple had not been

so fitting for God or his Churches Service, if • Built by David's Hands. Therefore it is fit we should take his. Advice and Direction

(of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(of his Word and Providence,) in his own Work, as to laying the Design.

Next in the carrying it on, we must from time to time, lay the Flummet to the Work,

and see that it squares with a Right Inten. tion for God's Glory; that every Word be

Impregnated with a Divine Spirit, and pure

zeal for the service of Souls For how can " that be likely to do good to Souls, which is

only intended to shew our Parts, or get our felves Esteem? Our own Business indeed

may be done by the by, in pursuing of God's, • but God's Business will not be done by the

by, in pursuing our own. All Humane Af. ' fections are unhallow'd in respect of God's " Work, and pollute it by being mixt with ' it. They are the Dead fyes which corrupt

this precious Perfume of the Sanctuary, and < cause it to fend forth an unpleasing Savour to

God. See that thou do all things according to the Pattern shew'd thee in the Mount, said God to Moses when he was about his Sanctuary : We must look up to our Pattern, in doing God's Work, his Will and Direction. In

that we are not allow'd to please our selves ( or follow our own Fancy and Invention.

How can any thing that we do of our selves be able to Benefit Souls? Alas it is as much beyond our Power to benefit them, as it is to redeem them, so we must let that alone for ever, unless the Strength of God goes along with our Weakness. One is the peculiar Work of God the Son, the other of God the Spirit. Unless our Words flow from his InD 2

stinct,

[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »